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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"


wrestling, hurling the javelin, and throwing the discus, and
probably had the opportunity (outside the palestra, however)
of learning the national dances. , By means of these various
exercises they were brought into fit condition Tor the strains of
war, and at the same time given graceful, well-developed bodies.

For their general education, the boys went part of their time
to the music school, where they were taught by a /atV^'V^
that is, a player on the cithara, or lyre. As the names of the
school and of the teacher indicate, this department of education,
like the instruction given in the Song Schools of Scotland and
England in pre-Reformation times, was originally confined to
music, but at the time when we get definite information about
them, the music schools, had widened their scope. Singing
and lyre-playing were still taught in them, but the rest of the
subjects needed for ordinary life in a literate community-—
reading, writing, and counting—were included in their course.
\The classical passage telling of the music schools occurs in a
speech which Plato puts into the mouth of Protagoras, the
first sophist, who began to teach in Athens about 450 B.C*
After pointing out that a child's parents and friends commence
his education as soon as he is old enough to understand what
is said to him, he goes on to say:

" At a later stage, they send him to teachers and enjoin them
to pa^ much more attention to his conduct than to letters and
music! And when the boy has learned his letters and is beginning
to understand what is written, they put into his hands the works
of great poets in which are contained m^ny admonitions and tales,
and praises of the worthy men of old,! These he is required to
learn by heart in order that he may imitate them and desire to
become like them. Similarly, the teachers of the lyre take care
that their young disciple is temperate and gets into no mischief;
and when they have taught him to play on the lyre, they introduce
him to other poems written by great lyric poets ; and these they
$et to music, and make their harmonies and rhythms quite
familiar to the children's souls, in order that they may learn to
be more gentle and harmonious and rhythmical, and so more
fitted for speech and action; „ for the life of man has need of
harmony and rhythm in every part, }Then they send them to
the master of gymnastic in order that their bodies may better
minister to the virtuous mind, and that they may not be compelled